Ten Website Conversion Tips

From my work, I notice a lot of businesses think that throwing money at advertising is what they need to get more customers. Sure it’ll help, but why waste your money when you can convert more leads for less cash? Out of the research I’ve done and my own experience, here are a few checkpoints that I work through to increase website conversion:

1. Be clear about what you do

If visitors don’t see your site as being relevant to them – they can leave in 3 seconds. So make sure you’re clear about what you do. Use strong headings in your content, add relevant photos and make use of dot points to cut through the clutter. A good copywriter can help achieve this through brevity. This will help keep visitors on your site, but only if you…

2. Receive Targeted Traffic

You have to be attracting the right sort of person to your site. For example, if you’re selling web hosting, you need to think about the sort of customer you want to attract. Where will you advertise? How is the performance of different keywords in your PPC campaigns? Is your ad copy over-promising? Make sure all of this is congruent with the sort of customer you’d like to attract and you’ll increase your conversion rate dramatically.

3. Direct Traffic to the Right Landing Page

So many businesses direct their ads and search marketing efforts at their homepage. If you have a lot of information and pages on your site, this can be really detrimental to conversion. Research shows, that if someone cannot find what they’re looking for on your site within 3 page views, you’ve lost them. Also, if you’re running AdWords on your site, a specialized landing page optimized for certain keywords will help you pay less.

4. Direct Focus toward Your Call to Action

Make reference to your Call to Action throughout your copy. Continually remind users of the benefits of “subscribing now” or “purchasing before the offer runs out”. Even using arrows and pictures of people facing your call to action has been shown to increase conversion rates.

5. Use a professional and relevant design

A good design that makes effective use of white space can make your landing page easier to read and more attractive for lazy “energy conscious” customers to read. Make the design relevant to what you offer as this will communicate IMMEDIATELY to the visitor what it is that you do. If they can find that out by your site design, you might just hold their attention for long enough.

6. Make the action easy to perform and flexible

Offer flexible payment and contact options. Don’t ask too much of your visitors or they’ll abandon ship. Only ask for as much as you need – where possible.

7. See what Professionals and Your Competition are doing

Take a look at conversion specialist’s sites and see what they’re doing. Chances are, they probably have a clue or two. If your product or service is markedly different from what these conversion specialist’s sites offer, you should checkout your competition. Does their landing page suit what you’re after? Is the call to action obvious? Do you find it easy to respond to this call to action? Where did you find them?

8. Incentivise Your Call to Action

Give people incentives to respond to your call to action. If you’re building an email list, offer people a free report or software. Some companies I know go as far as offering gift-vouchers or physical products to encourage subscription rates. If you make the incentive too elaborate, people might take advantage of it though.

I think Amazon does a good job of this too, where they encourage people to “Order Now to receive by such and such a date”. The opportunities are endless.

9. Reduce Percieved Risk of the Call to Action

People won’t do something that puts them at risk, so reduce this anxiety by proving your trustworthiness. Offer testimonials, money-back guarantees and trial offers – people will feel much safer if they have to invest very little into the process. You can also build trust in the eyes of your consumer by placing logos of associated brands and awards on your site.

10. Is your call to action appropriate?

Will your customers convert on the first visit or do you need to establish a relationship with them? I’ve encouraged some businesses, where the purchasing decision for customers is complex, to encourage subscription to a newsletter as well. That way they can develop relationships with their customers and demonstrate their value over the course of a month or two and increase the chances of winning their patronage.

11. (Bonus) Pre-empt Your Call to Action

In your ad copy or source medium (reviews, link building, directories), foreshadow the call to action by using it in there. For instance, if you’re placing banner ads on a website to encourage more people to sign up to your newsletter, ask people in the ad to “Visit now for a free subscription to XXX. Limited time only. Worth $29 / month!”. This will help visitors understand what to do when they come to your site and consequently improve your conversion rates.

In order to reach an effective conversion rate, you need to optimize your lead generation, your website copy/design and your sales funnel. Without careful attention to each of these areas, your conversion rate will suffer. By refining these areas over time however, you’ll benefit from a synergistic effect. The key ingredients here are spare time and knowledge about your customers.

(image credit)

Robert Kingston

Robert Kingston works as an online marketing consultant at New Business Media, a boutique Australian web agency.

He maintains several of his own sites and has worked with Yaro Starak on various projects. Robert has an understanding of blogging, search engine optimisation, search marketing and new web technologies. In particular, he is very interested in how the internet can be used for marketing.

Feel free to contact Robert Kingston through his site.

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Comments

  1. This is a great, practical list of very simple tips — that actually work. Too many solopreneurs and businesses miss these completely.

    Sales conversion is about the whole package on the landing page, thanks for the post!

    Maria Reyes-McDavis

  2. HI Robert,

    God list of tips you have – Of course, the most difficult part in converting visitors is your #1 in the list – be clear – short message that’ll do in 3 seconds.

    To me, it’s an art!

    Cheers!

  3. Thanks Maria and Noobpreneur.

    Conversion is definitely an art – especially when you don’t have a lot of data to back up your decisions and changes. Fortunately, a lot of things can be tested and made meaningful. We’re unbelievebly lucky to be able to have such verbose tracking and metrics but they’re no substitute for creativity and knowing what you’re on about.

  4. Great article! Definitely gave me some ideas and got me thinking about my own website, as well as the ones I build for clients! Thank you for sharing this list!

  5. Hi,

    Enjoyed the article! Yes, that’s a good list of tips
    for sales conversion purposes.

    Your reference to using “strong headings” in
    Tip #1 is quite important. it should communicate
    to the visitor that, yes, they’re in the right place at
    the right time.

    All the best,
    Laurie

  6. Thanks for your comments, Laurie and Jess.

    That’s a good way to think, Laurie: Target visitors by indicating to them “that they’ve come to the right place”.

  7. Excellent Article! Just in time. Will use it as a reference on our current re-design..to go live in the next few weeks..
    Thanks.

  8. Nice tips for website conversion, its useful to all, thanks for sharing your experience.

  9. Good conversation tips. Targeted traffic and proper landing page are important for conversation.

  10. websites says:

    This will help visitors understand what to do when they come to your site and consequently improve your conversion rates.

  11. Gareth Rees says:

    Great article guys. Traffic is useless unless its interested traffic, and if it is, you have no one to blame but yourself if you don’t take the steps to convert them. These are great tips.